Daily Devotion for August 28, 2017
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Tools of creation,
Stronger than nations,
Power without end.
And yet through them
We find our truest friend.
Sermons of kindness,
Healing men's blindness,
Halting years of pain;
Children waiting to be held again.
His hands would serve his whole life through,
Showing man what hands might do,
Giving, ever giving endlessly.
Each day was filled with selflessness,
And I'll not rest till I make up my hands what they could be
Till these hands become like those from Galilee.
Lifting a leper,
Warming a beggar,
Calling back the dead,
Breaking bread, five thousand fed.
Pointing to heaven,
Ever free of sin,
Then bidding man to follow Him.
Clasped in agony,
As He lay pleading, bleeding in the garden.
While just moments away,
Other hands betray Him,
Out of greed, shameful greed.
And then His hands are trembling,
Straining to carry the beam that they've been nailed to,
As He stumbles through the streets,
Heading for the hill,
On which He'd die, He would die.
They take His hands,
His mighty hands,
Those gentle hands.
And then they'd pierce them,
then they'd pierce them,
He lets them because of love.
From birth to death was selflessness,
And clearly now I see Him with His hands calling to me;
And though I'm not yet as I would be,
He had shown me how I could be,
I will make my hands like those from Galilee.
Music and lyrics by Kenneth Cope
Prayer for Personal Conduct (from 1 Timothy)
Lord God, I pray that this day my conduct will be like that you have set for your clergy: Above reproach. May I be this day temperate, sensible, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, and not violent, but gentle. May I never be quarrelsome, always seeking peace even in disagreement, and may my love be for you and my fellow man, not for money. I pray that I manage my own household well. If I have any children in my charge, I pray to that I may take the time to see that they are in control and behaving with proper respect. Grant me a good reputation with outsiders, so that I will not fall into disgrace and the snare of the devil. This I pray through my Lord Christ, whose love and attention ever gave us an example of conduct,
Thanks for the Animals of Creation
Oh God, I thank thee
for all the creatures you have made,
so perfect in their kind —
great animals like the elephant and rhinoceros,
humorous animals like the camel and the monkey,
friendly ones like the dog and the cat,
working ones like the horse and the ox,
timid ones like the squirrel and the rabbit,
majestic ones like the lion and the tiger,
for birds with their songs.
Oh Lord give me such love for your creation,
that love may cast out fear,
and all the creatures see in man
their priest and friend,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
O good shepherd, seek me out, and bring me home to your fold again. Deal favourably with me according to your good pleasure, until I may dwell in your house all the days of my life, and praise you forever and ever with them that are there.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
What verse tells us, “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”?
If there be a man before me who says that the wrath of God is too heavy a punishment for his little sin, I ask him, if the sin be little, why does he not give it up?
~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Genesis 43:16-25 (ESV)
Joseph’s Brothers Arrive in Egypt Again
When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon.” . . .
And the men were afraid because they were brought to Joseph’s house, and they said, “It is because of the money, which was replaced in our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, so that he may assault us and fall upon us to make us servants and seize our donkeys.”
So they went up to the steward of Joseph’s house and spoke with him at the door of the house, and said, “Oh, my lord, we came down the first time to buy food. And when we came to the lodging place we opened our sacks, and there was each man’s money in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. So we have brought it again with us, and we have brought other money down with us to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.”
He replied, “Peace to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks for you. I received your money.”
Then he brought Simeon out to them. And when the man had brought the men into Joseph’s house and given them water, and they had washed their feet, and when he had given their donkeys fodder, they prepared the present for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there.
Notes on the Scripture
he situation is ironic. Joseph’s brothers are guilty of a crime — seizing Joseph, plotting to murder him, and finally selling him into slavery. Moreover, they have been brought before the very person against whom the crime was committed and they are entirely in his hands: Joseph himself, now a powerful Egyptian official.
But they do not know the situation. They appear to have stolen the Pharaoh’s money on the previous journey, which they did not do. They have been caught red-handed in a crime they did not commit. On the other hand, they think they have gotten away with the crime they actually did commit, the enslavement of their brother. Whereas in reality, the exact opposite is true.
But they carry with them the weight of a great sin and they live in fear of God’s wrath for their sin. They live in the expectation of punishment. Joseph would have lived in a great house and the prison would have been in his basement, a practice common throughout history; perhaps “dungeon“ would be a more appropriate term. Like all of us, if they approach judgment with a guilty conscience, they approach in fear, for their judge can improve their situation or he can punish them.
As is true through so much of the Bible, their sin will be — and actually, has already been redeemed — by another, their innocent young brother Benjamin. Because Benjamin has come with them, risking his own life even though he had no responsibility for the events, Joseph forgives them; and not to his glory, but to the glory of God.